1/21/12

ginger-peanut caramel chews

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Those ginger chews made by The Ginger People are good. I buy them every time I go to trader joe's or whole foods. As much as I love them, they burn a hole in my pocket. Had to find a much cheaper way to devour them. So, why not try and make my own.
Granted they don't taste exactly like them--they taste BETTER!
If you are a ginger lover them you will love these. Everything turned out great on the first batch--the caramel gods were with me that day. But if I make them again, I will be using fresh ginger instead of candied. Candied ginger only gave a slight ginger flavor; I want strong ginger flavor, the only way to roll. So if you make these please use fresh grated ginger (1/4 cup or less perhaps?). These are slightly like the molasses-peanut chews I made a while back only minus the heavy dose of molasses. I stuck with that recipe because those were incredible and it's really a great caramel base for almost any add in(s).

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Pour caramel into buttered glass or ceramic dish. Don't touch! Let cool a bit before slicing.

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ginger-peanut caramels
print recipe

4 TB salted butter
Extra butter to grease ceramic dish
3 ounces high quality bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 cup half & half
½ cup light corn syrup
½ cup molasses
1 cup white sugar
1 ts high quality vanilla extract
Giant pinch of sea salt
½ cup of honey roasted peanuts, rough chop
¼ - ½ cup candied ginger, diced fine

Wax paper squares for wrapping caramels
Extra butter for greasing up your slicing knife

Cook notes:
Remember this is hot sugar, never touch the hot sugar, never be tempted to taste test, and always use oven mits. The next time I make this I will use real ginger root. The ginger in the candied ginger was not that strong. And I think real ginger will add a nice, strong, deep flavor. I used honey roasted peanuts for that extra flavor and texture. Of course you can use regular peanuts if you like or even pecans.
I found it was a lot easier to slice the caramels when the mixture was almost cooled and set. It’s best to wrap these in wax paper. If you don’t wrap them, they will stick to each other when you store/stack them away. Make sure to work fast when you are at the last stage of adding in the add in’s. The caramel sets up fast and needs to be poured as soon as possible. So it’s handy to have your add in’s right at the ready.

Butter an 8-by-8-inch or 8 x 9 baking dish. Get out a candy thermometer and clip onto pot. Get your minced ginger and chopped peanuts ready, set aside.
In a large heavy duty pot (with high sides preferably) combine the butter, chocolate, milk, molasses, sugar, and salt. Place over a medium heat and stir constantly and CONSTANTLY scraping the bottom of pan. (You will be doing this for a while). Let it boil and cook until the temperature reaches around 247 -249 (soft ball stage). Once it hits this temperature remove from heat
And add in the vanilla extract (it will make a lot of noise and sizzle).
Just add in and stand back then stir in. Next, working fast add in your ginger and peanuts, and give it a good stir.
Once mixed, pour the hot mixture into your prepared buttered baking dish.
In about an hour or 45 minutes you should be able to handle caramel. Gently lift if out of baking dish and transfer to a wooden board or plastic cutting board.
Using a sharp knife cut long strips about ¾ of an inch, then cut those strips into 1 or 2 inch pieces.) Wrap in wax paper.
Should make about 70 pieces; all dependant on how you cut them (what size).

31 comments:

  1. Those look so good. I'm totally addicted to the triple ginger cookies from Trader Joe's. I bet these would be amazing with fresh and crystallized ginger.

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  2. Om gosh-love those chews! And those totally look better! Thank you!

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  3. I need these for dinner!

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  4. Wow, these look incredible! Those roasted peanuts from tj's are a weakness of mine, I LOVE them!!!!!

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  5. Holy cow - those look amazing and totally brought back memories of a candy my mom used to bring back from New York. They came in a special black tin and we used the tin afterward to put matches in, but never did get more of those candies. I'm so curious to see if these are the taste I am thinking of.

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  6. Dawn these look amazing!

    I never make candy/caramel because candy thermometers and I don't get along well. Seriously I can go from 0 to hard ball scorched and ruined in like 2 seconds and have gotten sick of ruining good sugar, butter, and cream so have stopped attempting candy.

    You make me want to try again. AMAZING!

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  7. Wow - those look soooo good! I love ginger.

    I saw your message on FB. I'm going to email you in just a bit!!!

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  8. we always have those ginger chews in our pantry - these look SO good!

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  9. ooh, i love those ginger candies, too! these might be even more dangerous :)

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  10. Oh yeah..those look like they would totally pull one of my fillings out!!!! Yes please

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  11. I like to eat ginger till it burns. And then I eat some more. Somehow...it's like you knew that. I'm in love.

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  12. it looks like fudge but way better, I've always prefered hard candies and I love that you added peanuts to them

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  13. How did you know I just bought a whole buncha fresh ginger?! These look AWESOME! I've only had a few caramel adventures... Candy thermometers can be very intimidating :/

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  14. I'd say I am craving a little chocolate after the holidays even if I had sworn off all things sweet fro the New Year. These fit the bill!!!

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  15. OMG - these look insanely delicious. Should I expect a package in the mail with a few of these gems or am I going to have to drive to Cape Cod and fight you for some of them?

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  16. Oh, good God. These are all of my favorite things in one. You are a genius. An evil genius.

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  17. I think I've died and gone to heaven. Cripes. These look fabulous.
    Let alone the pita chips, you clever girl. I just boringly put cheese on stale pita and stick it under the broiler. Now I can fix 'em up and actually serve them to people! :)

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  18. I am bowing down to you! I am a mess with making caramel. This is amazing and love the ginger in here.

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  19. oh my goodness gracious. Since you aren't my neighbor and can't share with me, I will have to bake these. Immediately.

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  20. See, these are already wrapped and ready to be shipped to me. When should I expect my package? ;)

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  21. Ils sont à croquer !!
    Je te souhaite un bon mercredi

    Valérie.

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  22. Cool recipe, I'm not a huge fan of ginger - - but this recipe sounds so tempting ~yumm!!

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  23. trekking your yummy blog!!! burp!

    cheers!
    ..TREK..

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  24. i do enjoy light-colored caramels, but the dark color on these has me just beside myself. what a great batch of the chewy stuff!

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  25. Whoa--these look right up my alley! We love those ginger chews, too. They're addictive!

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  26. Oh boy. Those would be VERY dangerous for me! They look and sound AMAZING.

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  27. These looks so good Dawn! Maybe will end up in my Holiday gift series next year!

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  28. Salt? Check. Sugar? Check. Nuts? Check. Perfect? Yes. This is such a nice gift idea too!

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  29. I've been wanting a candy thermometer for a long time. Your caramels looks amazingly delicious and I'm not much of a candy person to begin with. It must be all those nuts in there. Yum!

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